Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
His legacy
More fan mail that I'm just now finding  
Did a quick Google on John today (don't ask, sometimes the self-inflicted slaps to my heart are better than numbness and vague memories of him) and this popped up in the top five.

From Philly:
http://www.citypaper.net/blogs/clog/2007/01/16/john-mccalla-1968-2007/

and to Philly from silly me:


http://www.citypaper.net/blogs/clog/2007/03/08/the-most-unnatural-of-natural-causes/

(that picture is a doozy -- gets me every time.)
All happening  
... from the final entry on John's blog in August, when we both decided these damn blogs were just plain silly Just back from P-town. It's all happening. Tired old obsessions are lifted, love has resumed its proportionate place in the universe and I'm finally comfortable enough to live in the present. I thank Alanis, Coldplay, U2, Stars and Peaches for lifting the gloom at long last. Running under city trees, blaring music, appreciating words and savoring the good people in my life are much more interesting endeavors than longing. At least for now.
WBJ Moments  
Washington Business Journal has a tradition within the newsroom for reporters and editors to share their "Washington Business Journal" with us before they leave. John left too soon, so we collected our favorite moments of him, an impossible editing task to narrow it to one, to run in his paper. The following ran in the January 12 issue of the paper.

John and I shared a love of travel. Preferably shortish trips strung together at the last possible moment, with details like accommodations left up in the air. I had several opportunities to test him — “So, I’m thinking about going to Costa Rica on Thursday. Is that OK?” Invariably, the answer was yes. He always had better stories than me, though. And better travel options, too. For a while, his partner worked in the airline industry. He got free travel, as long as he flew standby. As a consequence, he was always getting “stuck” in exotic locales for an extra day or two. If it’s OK, I’m just going to pretend he’s “stuck” in Rio for a while.
— Adam Brecher, researcher and reporter

I only knew John for a short time, and yet he made me feel so comfortable, so fast. We’d been talking on the phone and e-mailing for months before I started at the paper. The first day we met face to face, we both laughed and said at the same time, ‘I feel like we should hug each other!’ I knew at that moment, I’d found the right home. Now, I just feel cheated.
— Elizabeth Drachman, managing editor

“Joe, we’re going to lean on you.”
That’s what John said last year right after he told me I was being promoted. Sheesh. Thanks, man, don’t even let me enjoy the moment.
But John, are you kidding? You’ve been leaning on me and everyone else here since I arrived three years ago. Always pushing us to make an extra phone call, to dig a little further, to “have fun with it” and dress up our stories a little more.
And we’re all better people for it.
Hey, John. You may not have realized it, but we leaned on you, too. A lot.
— Joe Coombs, senior reporter

“A good story can be a loop or a cover.”
That was one of the many pieces of amazing advice that John gave me over the past three years. As my editor, he taught me how to be a more aggressive, skeptical and passionate journalist. John was also a wonderful friend, a constant reminder to me about the importance of being loyal and possessing integrity. He’s made me a better journalist, and an even better person. John’s life was certainly way too brief, but boy oh boy was it full of depth.
— Neil Adler, staff reporter

Covered in glitter, John and I held homemade “You Bop” posters above our heads at Wolf Trap, as Ms. Lauper took to the stage. He made me do my Cyndi dance (high stepping, imaginary-skirt lifting) when we sang “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and I made him cry during “True Colors.”
We bopped.
John and I were in sync in our crazy, unspoken desires -- from wanting see Cyndi Lauper live in 2004 to wanting to rewind to that instant when we’d never seen Bill Maher or “Six Feet Under”, just so we could watch it again for the first time.
I’m having lots of rewind wishes now.
— Amanda Long, assistant managing editor

We were walking down 17th Street an evening last spring and John linked his arm in mine. Up ahead, we saw a handsome guy walking toward us and John separated from me and said, “O.K., give him eye contact and I will too and we’ll find out if he’s gay.” The guy walked by and checked me out, and after he passed we exploded with laughter. “Straight!” John had an infectious laugh, but he had a sharper wit. I couldn’t keep up, even though he always said he was the gay male version of me. He was my mentor, my friend and my counselor. John, I love you. And I’ll miss you terribly.
— Erin Killian, staff reporter

After my first few months here, a prominent developer was upset about a story I wrote and called all the powers-that-be at WBJ to complain about my inaccurate and shoddy work.
John McCalla sent me an IM: “c’mere.”
I was scared, and trying to organize my thoughts so I could make John understand my side of the story.
When we sat down, John’s first words to me were: “Don’t worry, tell me what happened and we can work it out together.”
John was the kind of guy who unwaveringly and unquestioningly stood by his people.
— Prabha Natarajan, staff reporter

I once wrote a story describing a developer as wearing a “trendy three-button suit.” John, my Prada shoe-wearing, Hugo Boss-loving editor, tossed the sentence. To him, a three-button suit was neither trendy nor worth noting. I argued that it set the developer apart from other downtown businessmen, but we ended up spiking the phrase. I had learned my lesson: My khaki slacks, Old Navy button downs and I were never going to win a fashion argument with John.
— Doug Fruehling, senior editor

“Shock and Awe” is the title of my fondest memory John. At the DCCC Gala, my colleagues and I were thoroughly involved with people watching until I made the “mistake” of standing up from the table. My Alma Mater had a table of students, who then rushed over to greet me. After general introductions were made, to my horror, several of them began to pitch stories to John with their “collegiate-zest.” John sincerely listened to each student and gave them his card without hesitation. After, John gave me his boyish grin and said “They’re great!” I have been in awe ever since.
— Erica LeBlanc, account executive

I really admired and respected John and wish I had gotten to know him better. I didn’t have many opportunities to interact with him personally, but the few times I did made me admire him more, for everything he was. As I sit at my desk, I can still hear his laugh ring through the newsroom, which would always make me smile even if I had no idea what the joke was. I guess I’ll count every time that happened as a John McCalla moment. And, I’ll hear him laugh as long as I’m here.
— Arjun Kashyap, researcher

John didn’t walk into a room. He spun, complete with cell phone squawking out the theme from “Six Feet Under.” He joked, yelled “Mwoo-ha-ha!” at big ideas and agitated us all with razor-sharp wit.
But just when you thought he shrugged everything off as a joke, he’d thank you. “I’m so grateful,” he’d write in a message with a sincerity, depth and sheer gratitude that revealed the serious, caring John that hid beneath. It was gone in a flash, but when the joking started again, you’d find yourself laughing all the harder.
John, I’m so grateful, and I’ll miss you dearly.
— Jennifer Nycz-Conner, staff reporter

“I think you’re fabulous, and I want to get to know you better,” John told me one happy hour evening, five months into my job.
“John thinks I’m fabulous,” I repeated to my husband, excitedly, ad nauseum, that night.
Fabulous for John meant smart. It meant merciless wit. It meant slicing through bull and biting into meat. It meant being real. And it meant so much to me, who’ll forever strive for those things, giddy with validation from a man who already naturally was. And more.
John, I think you’re fabulous.
And I wish, so wish, I got the chance to know you better.
— Vandana Sinha, staff reporter

I met John in front of a hotel in Washington. We’d finished up an hour-long panel on source development. We both needed a smoke. It was the first of many great conversations about journalism. It was also the first of countless smoke breaks. We grew to be good friends. He mentored me as a reporter and an editor. When I finally stopped smoking, John told me he was sad to lose his smoking buddy, but that he was happy for me. He just wanted me to succeed. I couldn’t have stopped smoking without his encouragement.
— Roger Hughlett, news editor

I relished the fun of John’s cleverly turned phrases.
“Random thoughts” on waiting included: “I’ll stay in the theater and wait for ‘Marie Antoinette’ to end if Sofia Coppola promises to wait for a script before she shoots her next movie.”
On corporate casual: “It’s boring. … You try to upscale it. You try to tailor it. You try to compensate with Prada. In the end, you still look more ready for a spelling bee than the boardroom.”
His last day at work John wore a dark suit, sharp blue tie and crisp white straight-collar shirt with cuff links.
— Chuck Springston, news editor

Life was always more fun with John around. After last year’s holiday party, John convinced a reporter and his wife to take a few of us back to their condo, where the small upper-level quickly became a dance floor. But the night wasn’t over, and when the hosts called it quits, John led me and another to one last bar before closing. John was always pushing for one last stop, one more source, one more round of calls to get a better page-one story. He lived life no-holds-barred, and we’d all be better off for following his lead.
— Ben Hammer, staff reporter

I loved that John shared the photos of his travels with me. He even at times used a Holga camera to get a little more creative. He loved it when I showed him how a simple crop could strengthen an image he wasn’t happy with. After one of his trips to South Beach he e-mailed a photo of a building sign he had taken. I took the liberty of doing some creative cropping and put it on my desktop. He came over and looked at it and said, “Wow, is that my photo?” 
I loved his creativity, his wit, his spirit. He has simply left us heartbroken.
— Joanne Lawton, staff photographer

I’m going to miss John’s baby-blue eyes. As clear as they were they were never blank and with a flicker he could stop me in my sentence or make me laugh uncontrollably. His eyes kept me on my toes. They made sure what I was about to say was clever. They sympathized with my boredom at mundane meetings. They smiled at me every morning as he dashed by my desk with a wink and wave. I am going to miss them most... but I’m lucky because when I close my eyes I can still see them, vivid and bright.
— Hili Banjo, design editor

John is who makes kids think smoking makes them cool. It didn’t make him cool, of course — confidence and pretty blue eyes and snarky wit and a magical gift with words did that.
But a guy like that makes other people think that if they do what he does, they’ll be what he is.
When he first came to WBJ, he sat next to me. He flashed those eyes, reeked of cigarette smoke, sent me snarky e-mails and popped Altoids.
And I thought, “Too cool to work next to. I’ll never get anything done again.”
— Lucy Webb, staff reporter Near the end of a long and complicated pregnancy, I was in a car accident that could have been awful. My first call, as I stood on the Clara Barton Parkway waiting for the ambulance, was to John, my managing editor and the man who needed to know that I wouldn’t be into work that day. “Why are you calling me, silly girl?” he asked. “Go take of yourself and your baby. “I got your back.” He did. Again. And always. — Beth Hunt, former editor The combination of John’s dry wit and hilarious (and devious) sense of humor made hanging out with him a blast. One night a few months ago, my partner and I were leaving a stand-up comic’s show at the Warner Theater, when we ran into John and his best friend, Amanda. We talked to them for a long while there on the sidewalk, and ended up laughing as much — if not more — than we had during the comedy show. — Scott Ward, account executive
Don't wait for me  
In an email dated July 12, 2004, John wrote: For your future entertainment... an essay from my freelance days... Begin forwarded message: What color is your parachute? By John McCalla The trendy new Cuban restaurant suddenly was buzzing with gay boys, identifiable mostly by their tans, tight Banana Republic tees and the fact that they had to practically floss at the bar after each sip of the mint-rich mojitos. Chris dismissed them with a well-practiced snub, which he deftly accomplished with a simultaneous nasal inhale and deliberate head-turn in the other direction. “The waiter’s cute,” he said. “Eh,” I said. “What? He’s cruisy too,” Chris said. “I have a no-waiter rule,” I informed him and headed to the bar to smoke among the regular boys. Chris worked his trademark snub on me. “A couple of years ago, you were in love with a whore,” he said, “ but waiters -- you draw the line,” he said. I didn’t like the way that sounded. Jose was not a whore. More of an opportunist, really. I think he was an engineer or something in Venezuela, but he was a little misdirected here. Terribly cute and terribly misdirected. Ok, so he was a whore -- as if that was somehow below a waiter on the queer career ladder. There are paths to success and there are paths to Betty Ford. The whore may have a ticket to both, but at least the book deal and the beach house are attainable with the right networking; the waiter could only hope to gain enough seniority to get off the brunch shift. And that’s not the relationship I had in mind now that I was out of my 20s, I explained to Chris. (I had safely written off whores too.) No, at this point, I was looking for something more than late-night discussions of who didn’t do their ketchup-marrying sidework and how the kitchen was just “in the weeds” all night and nobody could get a rare salmon steak to save their lives. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no snob. I waited tables and bartended for a solid decade, from high school through my mid-20s. I loved it. Cash, cute bartenders, a crash-and-burn daily party routine and only the most casual relationship with reality. I also had to move on from the restaurant game before I murdered one of the customers who thought it was cute to fashion herself as modern-day Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally,” creating her own menu and thinking she invented sauce on the side. (Said customers always then complained everything was “much too dry,” as if well-done anything with no sauce stood a chance in hell of retaining any flavor or texture.) And, while there may be waiters out there who love what they do, they still can’t claim the job makes for a thought-provoking 8-hour shift. Service jobs are basically blue-collar work for the gays. Many waiters I knew -- I was one of them -- pined for the oxymoronic “real job.” Also a mistake. Any pursuit that requires “knowledge-sharing,” “interfacing” or any other corny buzzword is better left to straight people, who actually find such pursuits refreshing after a whole weekend spent at the mall and soccer camp. But, should a career climb be in the cards, at least know what’s out there and at what level to aim, starting at the predictable bottom: • The Waiter: Often seen around town in black-and white-attire, or “street clothes” and a knapsack at odd hours. Subsets of this class have their own pecking order, ruled by young, cute and inebriated waiters who are at least still of ingenue status and can profess ideals or artistic ambitions without the stink of failure. Worst subset includes pretentious flight attendants and aging Shelly Long-types in recovery, prone to re-reading and quoting from “The Road Less Traveled.” Often seen: riding public transportation. • The Retail Queen: Like the waiter, but (aside from the name-tag) usually dresses better. • The Hairdresser: Prone to amateur psychology and meth amphetamine. The hairdresser can be easily spotted by the many labels and logos adorning his fashion-forward outfits; you’ll think you’ve just shaken hands with a billboard on Times Square. • The Guppie: Gay urban professionals. Often found in public relations, human resources, insurance and other mid level management positions. Conversations usually involve material goods and Madonna. Includes circuit party subset and retro-minded cocaine addicts. Guppies in big-city settings are particularly dangerous, for they frequently think their corner offices entitle them to an opinion or to writing a screenplay. They are waiters and retail queens made-good who love unfounded condescension, thinly veiled insecurity complexes and anti-smoking tirades. Can be found at: the gym. • The Urbanist: Arty professionals, or anyone creative who, for lack of originality or a proper career-empowering trust fund, finds themselves wallowing in corporate America working for the man and counting the days till he can afford the next European bike tour. Includes architects given to cornering unsuspecting journalists at parties and talking for hours about the “built environment” as well as journalists cornered at parties feigning interest in how environments are built. • The Artist. If at all talented, super duper cool no matter what he does for a living. Usually distinguishable by his overt poverty or his family money, the latter for which he is appropriately embarrassed. Can be spotted at all openings, at which he usually stays till closing. And, the top of the heap, king of the hill and don’t pretend you think otherwise ... • The porn star: While many subsets of the ephemeral high-pedestal position of power exist (including whores), they are kings (and ruling queens) while they are there and as long as their skin holds up. God bless them. There are more. Gay doctors and lawyers come to mind, but they pretty much mix with other doctors and lawyers and leave the regular people alone. Also, there are plenty of gay politicos and leftist grassroots organizers, who are usually collating leaflets at each others’ apartments and come out solely for coffee refills and impassioned protest. The only job truly worth pursuing, as if you had to ask, is a blow job. And even that’s not enough (just ask one of the strung-out, suicidal porn stars or whores if there’s any doubt); it’s getting the blow job from that special person you want the blow job from that makes it all worthwhile, maybe even that soul-deadening sales job with the dot-com that sells software services even the salesmen don’t understand. And, a big, fat, employer-match on the 401k doesn’t hurt either. ###
Editorial from Jan. 15, 2007 Washington Business Journal  
http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2007/01/15/editorial1.html
30-nothing  


http://www.citypaper.net/blogs/clog/2007/01/16/john-mccalla-1968-2007/#more-1661
Award-winning column  
So There Virginia should go for class, not crass Washington Business Journal - October 6, 2006 http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/10/09/editorial1.html The "creative class" is the catchiest catch phrase to come out of city planners' mouths in years. It's the new knowledge worker, the new urbanism, the new regionalism, the new 18-hour downtown, the new mixed-use, in essence, the new win-win. And, as with any kids' catch phrase that is suddenly known to all their parents, it's kind of over. No offense to Richard Florida -- author of the best-selling book "The Rise of the Creative Class" who now has a day job at George Mason University -- because I believe in his principles, his vision for cities and his observations of tech-friendliness and live-and-let-work tolerance. He's right about a lot, and what he's really talking about is what people who love cities have been talking about all along -- we care about where we live. And we'd rather it not be in a strip mall. Or over an appetizer sampler platter at the Olive Garden. Or listening to zany morning DJs in a two-hour morning commute to the office. But in the economic development rush to get into the creative-class act -- a Greater Washington Initiative committee I was part of earlier this year began to dissect creative-class issues, and Fairfax officials are hosting a summit on the matter -- we're at risk of losing some of the message, or in some cases, downright ignoring it. This means you, Northern Virginia. First, the good news: The counties that make up the biggest chunk of Northern Virginia's living and working population finally are working together and going for a shared goal: biotech-hub status at long last. (Actually, before cities and counties across the country wanted to be creative-class hubs, they wanted to be biotech hubs, but fading fads could be the least of Virginia's problems at the moment.) Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax counties have the makings of an incredibly focused force up their economic development sleeves. And, betting big on a few key projects and some existing fast-growing circumstances, they're bound to get a big return on working and playing well with their neighbors. This week, Loudoun County unveils its Howard Hughes Medical Institute on the $500 million Janelia Farm campus, full of impressive scientist types who could've gone anywhere. They chose Ashburn. Go figure. But of course they did. The county might not have much in the way of venture capital or wet labs, but it does have plenty of space, a few tax breaks and a passion for achieving player status. It's no Montgomery County yet, but add in a 1,500-acre business park and a $325 million Eli Lilly manufacturing plant in Prince William County, and things are starting to look as promising as they did in Montgomery County 25 years ago. It's a start. At the same time, there are some setbacks to this creative-class status. Let's recap. Creative: Major medical and life science research facilities opening in your backyard. Not-so creative: George Allen and Jim Webb bickering in your front yard. Creative: Incentives to lure the brightest scientific minds in the world to your county. Not-so creative: Trying to keep your state from becoming the most popular recurring redneck joke on "Saturday Night Live." Creative: Rallying the region to put aside its inbred competitiveness to work toward a common, high-minded goal such as biotech brilliance. Not-so creative: Spending political capital trying to outlaw -- and re-outlaw -- domestic partnerships to the point where you infuriate big business, small business and straight and gay couples alike. The point should be obvious: If we decide to keep courting the creative class, we have to remember that tolerance and tech-savvy go hand in hand. Smart workers don't want to move to a state full of racist or intolerant or otherwise not-smart caricatures. The Hughes institute is a great notch in the region's biotech belt. Tabloid-friendly anti-gay or racist remarks, however, will get more TV coverage for Virginia every time. "We improved the probability that some companies will want to locate here. There's no question about that, but we didn't make it 100 percent," Janelia Farm Director Gerry Rubin says in this week's cover story by staff reporters Vandana Sinha and Joe Coombs. "But just having us is not going to do it." His chief operating officer, Cheryl Moore, agrees Northern Virginia is on the move: "I wouldn't say it's there yet, but there's a buzz." Now it's up to Northern Virginia to decide: Will its buzz come from the creative-class masses -- or late-night talk show hosts looking for crass laughs?
Macaca McCalla  
http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/11/27/editorial3.html So there You say macaca, I say I'm sorry Washington Business Journal - November 24, 2006 by John McCalla Apologies are the new gratitude. Go ahead, say it. Whatever you want, whenever you want. Mock your arresting officer's ethnicity. Use the N-word. Throw a phone at service workers. Take a bunch of pills and go for a late-night drive around the Capitol. Make money instructing wife killers. Lip sync and blame the band. Speak with a faux British accent. You can always apologize later. Actions no longer speak louder than words, apologies now speak louder than epithets. Ephemeral anger can quickly be collected and spun into a contrite soliloquy on a TV talk show. Former "Seinfeld" star Michael Richards, who apparently coveted Anne Heche's queen-of-crazy crown, tried for some Sarah Silverman-style savvy at an L.A. comedy club show last weekend. The only problem was, it wasn't clever, it wasn't relevant, and it wasn't funny. It was just creepy and uncomfortable to watch. His apology a couple days later on David Letterman's talk show was equally absurd, something about the country's rage and how he was going to get to the bottom of it. The bottom is an increasingly crowded place. O.J. promised to get to the bottom of wife Nicole's murder and to the bottom he went. Richards also won't have to look far for an answer. Neither will Mel Gibson, George Allen or any of you who plan to skip the thanks this holiday season and finally tell Aunt Flo or anyone else at the dinner table what you really think of them. The mea culpa generation has gone so far with the act-now-explain-later urge that it's even acceptable now to apologize when it's not called for. John Kerry almost proved to be one of the best campaigners for the Republican party by making a joke that in context wasn't offensive -- it also wasn't funny -- but after some spin, found himself apologizing for almost destroying the election for Democrats. This apology wasn't really an apology, but Kerry's shorthand way of saying sorry for almost ruining the election for his party. How he feels about the troops was never really the point for either side. Virginia's own George Allen, on the other hand, did mean to be offensive, but he apologized if his "macaca" comment to a Jim Webb campaign worker of Indian descent was taken as offensive. The senator's apology didn't come in time to save his reelection bid, but Allen did in fact make the world feel safer for people like Rupert Murdoch and Michael Richards to ante up at the apology table. Media "risk-taker" Murdoch was sorry for hawking a controversial O.J. Simpson project, "How to Kill Your Wife for Dummies," or something like that in which O.J. explained how one, not he, might kill his wife. Instead, Murdoch may go forward with a previously planned book and television project, "Rush Limbaugh: OxyContin and I Don't Care." Even though apologies are in vogue, you may be the sort of person who would rather not give them as gifts this holiday season. Some general rules: Beware impulsive behavior. While surely wife-killing book pitches and racist rants seem like good ideas at the time to the people who spew them, you'd be wise to remember what Thumper says in "Bambi": If you don't have something nice to say, don't say nuthin' at all. Of course, if everyone were nice, holiday family gatherings would be duller than a John Kerry joke, so do subtly provoke others. "Uncle Archie, another glass of bourbon? And speaking of bourbon, doesn't Gloria practically glow just days after her abortion?" Careful with comedy. What's that rule? If it bends, it's comedy; if it breaks, it's tragedy. And if it breaks in half, it's tomorrow's YouTube hit. Don't even mention the troops. Someone, somewhere will find a way to make it sound like you're not supporting them. And once you're labeled a troop nonsupporter, you might as well not support the children, the disabled or that Raymond guy on TV that everyone purportedly loves. Basically, you'll have no career options but HBO talk show host or Dixie Chicks backup singer. Don't be a racist. This one should seem obvious, but you never know. It's based on the simple concept that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of an apology, and it likely will come in handy next time you're too drunk or stupid to put the microphone down.
the one that was fun to hand to Alex (our boss)  
o There Don't take it out on your desk Washington Business Journal - December 22, 2006 by John McCalla Ever want to punch your boss? Curse out an employee? Smash your computer screen into cyberspace? If you haven't, you're either in line for sainthood or on line at CVS for more sedatives. The rest of us have "desk rage." Apparently, we're more enraged at our desks than ever before, and not just because we're ergonomically agitated. Recent surveys and human resources publications are noting big upticks in workplace violence, shouting matches, firings, resignations, lowered productivity, back stabbing, sick-time abuse, earphone passive aggression, crying jags, ennui and surly salutations. The experts are all over themselves explaining why desk rage is rampant. We're more overworked than ever before. A booming economy has done most of its booming on the backs of the same number of workers who handled the "eh" economy. We're cramped in little cubicles. We have no privacy. No time. No patience. And no more coping skills. It starts, if you ask me, with the coffee. There's a Starbucks on every corner, in every building, probably right in your own office hallway. I just rode up my building's elevator a few minutes ago. An elderly white man carried an entire pot of coffee and scurried off on the second floor. I sipped a French Roast. An attractive African-American woman juggled several folders, a purse, a briefcase, a clenched forehead -- and a steaming Starbucks cup. Of course we have desk rage. We're speed freaks. And not to generalize but, if you ever noticed, speed freaks tend to get a bit pissy when their Outlook crashes their computer or their boss sips his latte and tells them they're not productive enough. The second culprit, after the sixth cup of coffee of the day, has to be the fluorescent lighting. Who can help but feel agitated in a cube farm full of people whose pores are staring you in your own overly illuminated face? Wikipedia describes this over illumination as "the presence of lighting intensity beyond that required for a specified activity," adding that "some people find excessive levels of artificial light to be irritating, and some studies have shown that they may lead to adverse health effects." In other words: Some people call them age spots, I call them ugly. At this point, there's not much that can be done to combat desk rage, other than to perhaps hide under your desk. Human Resources magazine offers a ton of tips for managers to "combat desk rage and rudeness in the workplace." We can "evaluate employee workloads," "reduce noise levels," "encourage workers to take a lunch," "sponsor seminars," "evaluate people on civility" and "have fun." Who knew it could be so easy? But, for the heck of it, let's look at such advice more closely: Evaluate employee workloads. Sounds like an excellent idea, except for the fact that evaluations take time, and isn't a lack of time one of the main reasons for desk rage? The magazine also tells us not to pile too much work on one person, especially your hardest working employees. So there you have it: more work for the slackers. We should have that evaluation for you about the time you start throwing staplers and screaming something about being fed up and not taking it anymore. Reduce noise levels. Memo to newsroom staff. Please express your desk rage quietly. For example, rather than pounding on your desk, where you're eating your lunch because of your heavy workload, quietly jab your fork into your upper thigh -- or forearm; really, any limb will do! -- and sob gently to yourself until you've finished eating. Encourage workers to take a lunch. See above. Sponsor seminars. Be sure and schedule a whole series of these, but be careful not to simultaneously reduce workloads. Employees are much less rage-y when they satisfactorily rise to the challenge of more work and less time. Hey, don't throw that desk at me! Evaluate people on civility. Yeah, that's always a sign of the best and brightest workers. They're "nice." Have fun. Now how did any of us overlook this obvious solution to desk rage? Now where did Linda in accounting put that Twister mat and bottle of Stoli? But really, I think it's important to remember that how you deal with desk rage is one of the most personal decisions you can make. We all must battle our workplace demons in our own special way. Some of us like to ponder the issues on a crowded subway with our heads tucked squarely in some stranger's armpit. Some like to whistle on their two-hour drive-time commute to work. And some punch their boss right in the face.
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